Patriotism versus Nationalism was a poignant point made by Sargent Chuck Lewis during the Armed Forces Recognition Ceremony held in Superior on May 19. Lewis spoke to a group of veterans and community members in the Superior High School Gym about what it’s like to serve in the military.
As patriots, the military and soldiers vigorously support America, which was the case during World War II. When the United States was attacked, everyone was involved from the service men and women who were fighting overseas to the people back home who recycled, had rations and grew victory gardens.
“It’s sacrificing without self-interest. Without expectations of personal gain,” he said.
But fighting for nationalism is the worst enemy of peace, Lewis explained. Though it is patriotic in feeling with principles and efforts, in its extreme form it is marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries, “we have more wars with nationalism.”
Lewis served in Vietnam and also talked about coming home from the conflict to a hostile public.
“We did the job that we were asked to do. That’s what we are trained to do, though we are not all Heros, we are all warriors,” he said.
His feelings toward Vietnam vets runs deep and in 2013 he walked across the country for five months and 26 days, “walking for the fallen” to remember and honor those who died during that time.
In addition to Lewis’ talk, the program included recognition of three veterans, Joe Magone and William Merriman who fought in WWII and John Cochran who fought in Korea. Ryan Cahalin was also recognized as a Superior student who has joined the Army Reserve.
Denley Loge was the Master of Ceremony and the Legion Post 13 did the Presentation of Colors. Local Girl Scout Troop 3802 lead the Pledge of Allegiance with the St. Regis and Superior High School’s line band playing the National Anthem.
Also, as part of the ceremony, Anita Bailey accompanied Derek Larson on the piano as he sung two songs for the group. Deborah Frandsen, who is the Regional Director for Senator Jon Tester said a few words and Rick Lewis gave the invocation and benediction. After the ceremony, lunch was served. Mary Jo Berry was instrumental in putting the event together and the Superior BPA created a special video tribute to all of Mineral County’s veterans.